June 5, 2024

On May 26, 2024, the Youth Winter Games, a cherished tradition organized by the Knights of Columbus of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg (KUCA), reached its grand finale with a memorable wind-up event. The culmination of this remarkable event was marked by a joyous wind-up celebration, a fitting tribute to the spirit of unity, sportsmanship, and community that defined the Games.

As the spring gradually takes over of the city of Winnipeg, the echoes of laughter and cheers from the recently concluded Youth Winter Games, still resonate vividly in the hearts and minds of all involved.

The Youth Winter Games, a brainchild of the Knights of Columbus of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, were conceived with a noble vision: to provide Ukrainian children and youth with a platform to showcase their athletic talents, foster friendship, and celebrate their Christian and cultural heritage. From the outset, it was evident that this endeavor would transcend the realms of mere competition, evolving into a testament to the power of faith, teamwork, and collective endeavor.

Throughout the duration of the Youth Winter Games, children and youth from various parishes and Knights of Columbus councils enthusiastically participated, showcasing their athletic prowess and team spirit. The roster of activities featured in the Youth Winter Games was as diverse as it was exhilarating. Bowling alleys reverberated with the sound of toppling pins as young participants unleashed their prowess with finesse and precision. On the curling rinks, teams strategized and executed their shots with calculated expertise, while the soccer fields witnessed the exhilarating spectacle of swift footwork and strategic maneuvers. Adding to the excitement was the Mini Olympics, a showcase of agility, strength, and endurance, where participants competed in a variety of traditional and contemporary sporting events.

However, amidst the thrills and spills of athletic competition, the Knights of Columbus ensured that the essence of faith and spirituality remained at the forefront. Each event commenced with a solemn moment of prayer led by KUCA Chaplen Fr. Y. Buduykevych, a poignant reminder of the values of humility, gratitude, and reverence that underpinned the Games. The prayer not only served to instill a sense of unity and purpose but also provided participants with an opportunity for reflection and self-examination.

As the final curtain descended on the Youth Winter Games, the Knights of Columbus with clergy of the archeparchy, took center stage once again, this time to honor and acknowledge the contributions of all those who had made the event possible. Trophies gleamed in the soft glow of the venue as they were presented to the parishes and councils that had dedicated their time and resources to organizing the Games. Their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment had laid the foundation for an unforgettable celebration of youth, culture, and community.

Yet, perhaps the most poignant moment of the wind-up event was reserved for the children themselves. With beaming smiles and hearts full of pride, they stepped forward to receive their well-deserved awards. Bishop Andriy Rabij presented the children with trophies, whether for their outstanding performance on the field of play or their exemplary sportsmanship and spirit. Their achievements served as inspiration for future generations, embodying the timeless values of perseverance and excellence upheld by the Knights of Columbus.

The Youth Winter Games Challenge Trophy epitomizes excellence and dominance in the realm of youth winter events. Awarded to the participants from a parish that amasses the highest cumulative points throughout the entirety of the games. For 2023 year this trophy was given to St. Basil Parish. For 2024 Challenge Trophy was presented to St. Joseph Parish.

The Youth Winter Games Joe Kulyk Participation Trophy recognizes outstanding achievement in community engagement and youth involvement within a specific parish. Awarded to the parish exhibiting the most significant increase in participation compared to previous years. Joe Kulyk Participation Trophy for 2023 year was given to Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral.

For 2024 Joe Kulyk Participation Trophy was awarded to St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The Bishop's Trophy is the highest honor bestowed upon a parish in recognition of their outstanding performance and contributions to the Youth Winter Games. This prestigious award symbolizes the embodiment of excellence across all facets of the games, including athletic achievement, sportsmanship, and organizational leadership. Bishop Andriy Rabiy, presented the Bishop Trophy for 2023 to Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral.

For 2024 year Bishop Andriy awarded the trophy to St. Joseph Parish for exceptional commitment to promoting the values of teamwork, dedication and growth.

The KUCA (Knight of Columbus of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg) Award honors the Knight of Columbus Council that demonstrates unparalleled dedication and commitment to the organization and coordination of the Youth Winter Games.

In 2023 St. Josaphat Council the council exhibiting the highest level of involvement in the planning, logistics, and execution of the games, rightfully received this prestigious honour.

For 2024 we congratulate Fr. Shyshkowich Council for their invaluable contributions to the success and smooth operation of the Games. The award serves as a testament to the council's unwavering support, engagement, planning and implementation of the Youth Winter Games.

Jim Duff Sportsmanship Awards - embodies the core values of integrity, respect, and camaraderie within the Youth Winter Games community. Awarded to the individuals who consistently demonstrates exemplary sportsmanship, fairness, and respect for fellow competitors, organizers, and officials alike.

For 2023 Youth Winter Games we would like to exemplify Monica Yarko and Marcus Docouto.

For Youth Winter Games 2024 we would like to honor Kiril Lukin and Kateryna Buduykevych as recipients of Jim Duff individual Sportsmanship Awards. This trophy celebrates the embodiment of the true spirit of athletics. It serves as a shining example of ethical conduct, graciousness in victory and defeat, and a genuine commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive environment for all participants. This award not only recognizes outstanding athletic performance but also honors the invaluable contributions towards upholding the principles of sportsmanship and fair play, inspiring others to emulate their noble example.

In the end, as participants and spectators alike bid farewell to the Youth Winter Games of 2024, they did so with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude. For in the brief span of these events, bonds had been forged, memories had been created, and lives had been touched in ways that would endure long after the last event. And in the hearts of all those who had been a part of this extraordinary journey, the spirit of the Youth Winter Games would continue to burn brightly, a beacon of hope, inspiration, and unity for generations to come.

In essence, the Youth Winter Games Wind-Up was not merely a conclusion but a celebration of church community, faith, and the unlimited potential of Ukrainian children and youth. Through the collaborative efforts of the Knights of Columbus of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg (KUCA), and the support of the patrons, these Winter Games served as a shining example of the transformative power of sports in nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

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